The Gluten Free Babe
Restaurant Review: Twist on Thai
I'm a regular and I'm not ashamed.
Disclaimer: This review is wildly delayed. I've been living here for almost 3 years, eating at this restaurant weekly, sometimes twice a week. Some call my delay laziness, I call it pandemic brain.
When we moved up to the lake I was certain I would never find good gluten free food again. Especially Asian food. I had lived previously in Essex County, super close to a handful of Asian restaurants with FABULOUS gluten free food (hiii TS Ma in Montclair, I miss you), and was accustomed to being able to order gluten free options from a variety of places, delivery services etc.
I learned quickly that wasn't the case up here at the lake. It's a lot of run-of-the-mill Chinese and sushi places, most of which have harrowing tales of food poisoning in their Google reviews. You know the place - wet, weird chicken, MSG and pictures of their food over the counter. See also: a gluten free nightmare. I was tired, hungry, and craving any kind of Asian food.
Enter Twist On Thai.
Twist on Thai is a teeny tiny restaurant in Hopatcong, NJ by Cresent Cove. I had seen a bunch of people praise their food on our local town pages, talking positively about both the food and the owner, Ployy. I knew I had to give it a try.
The first time we ordered, I almost cried when she told us they could make a stir fry with no soy sauce, making the dish gluten free. We ordered a pad thai as well, and learned the lunch portions came with a salad, which we opted for their house peanut dressing - also gluten free. Little did I know I would be finding my new go-to.
Fast forward almost 3 years and Twist on Thai is one of our most ordered from Restaurants. We adhere to a strict "Thai Food Thursday" schedule and often order on Sundays as well. We always love our convos with Ployy, who has been such a kind friend to us every time she sees Dave or myself.
Here's our go to order, 3 whole years later:
Pad Pak Kra Tiem with veggies for me (no tofu or soy sauce, spice level 2)
Pad Pak Kra Tiem with chicken for Dave (no soy sauce)
Koa Pad with chicken for Dave (no tomatoes or soy sauce)
Royal Pad Thai with Chicken (no egg, bean sprouts or tofu - we suck, we know).
Side of Steamed Veggies
Sometimes we order:
Thai Coffee Ice Cream
Chicken and Potato Soup (no soy sauce)
Twist on Thai Salad w/ Peanut Dressing (no tomatoes or tofu)
Okay so I know what you're thinking: Nicole you order like an a-hole. It's the joys of being a picky eater, and Ployy has been so patient with us. Let's break down a few of these items.
The Kra Tiems are the stir frys - they're dumb good. They're a little salty, a little sweet, a little spicy, and garlic forward which we love. It's a very sauce/broth forward dish making it perfect to combine with rice (which comes with the meal). You can tell it's cooked fresh, and that the flavors are so perfectly combined for an umami bomb with every bite. I go veg because I try to eat a few meals a week without meat and Dave goes chicken. They take spice very seriously there.
Royal Pad Thai.... oh hell yes. It's the perfect Pad Thai in my humble opinion. Do we order it without a bunch of items? Yes but here me out - I absolutely cannot stand tofu or eggs, and Dave feels that way about bean sprouts. It's so hard to find a pad thai without gluten, eggs and tofu so this is of dreams for me. It's not overly sweet or acidic which I feel like a lot of pad thais are - this has the slightest hint of sweetness and acidity, while every single noodle is covered in the sauce. I suggest spice level 1 on this - it adds just enough heat.
Thai. Coffee. Ice. Cream. If you know me, you know that I'm a coffee fiend. Two iced coffees in the morning, one in the afternoon if I'm having a rough day. So the fact that I can get that full-body, delicious flavor in a house-made ice cream makes me the happiest girl. We get the bigger size and it literally does not last for us. The Thai Tea ice cream is also absolutely delicious. It's like one of those refreshing but creamy mid-summer flavors.
In the three years of living at the lake, we have never had a bad meal from Twist on Thai. Ployy's food has brought me so much happiness through the pandemic and gives me something to look forward to every week. I'm a firm believer that anything you order from Twist will truly be spectacular.
Allergy friends - this is not a dedicated kitchen, but not once in 3 years and countless meals have I gotten sick. The staff understands and takes allergies seriously. I cannot guarantee any experience in any place, ever - but I will continue to share that I feel very safe eating at Twist on Thai.
If you're in the direction of Sussex County or Lake Hopatcong, I highly recommend Twist on Thai. Check out their menu here.